The Florida Department of Health is submitting an application to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for funding in the amount of $120,524 for the first year of a five-year cooperative agreement and $150,000 each year thereafter to conduct the Pregnancy Risk Assessment Monitoring System (PRAMS). The Florida Department of Health and its state and local partners continue to value and use the data collected by PRAMS to develop and evaluate policy to affect change in supporting services to the women surveyed. Leticia Hernandez, MS, PhD, Maternal and Child Health Epidemiologist will serve as the Principal Investigator and will provide scientific and technical leadership as well as direction throughout the current grant funding period. Florida is the third most populous state in the nation with approximately 20 million residents living within 67 counties in 2015. The state is ethnically and racially diverse. The racial/ethnic composition of Florida is approximately 78 percent white and 17 percent black with 24 percent of the total population being of Hispanic origin. It ranks fourth nationally in annual live births with 22 percent of Florida?s total population less than 18 years of age and 27 percent between the ages 18 and 39, according to 2015 population estimates. The overall goals of the PRAMS program are: (1) to collect population-based data of high scientific quality on topics relating to pregnancy and early infancy; (2) to conduct data analyses in order to increase understanding of maternal behaviors and experiences during pregnancy and early infancy, and their relationship to health outcomes; (3) to translate results from analyses into useable information for planning and evaluation of public health programs and policy; and (4) to build state capacity. To address the four overarching goals of the project, Florida will conduct activities to improve its overall annual weighted response rate by 2 percent each year. Previous analyses have shown that more than half of live births in Florida are to mothers receiving Medicaid. Florida PRAMS will continue to gain access to the state?s Medicaid system as a search engine to gather up-to- date contact information to ensure increased delivery of the mail survey instrument to the selected mothers. In addition, the Florida PRAMS will continue to test incentives that increase the completion of the surveys and implement those found to be successful. Finally, Florida PRAMS will continue to engage and collaborate with state and local partners and data users to address state-specific needs.
Florida?s maternal and child health data needs and priorities are extensive, and many can only be met through the utilization of PRAMS data. Florida has been collecting data since 1993, and has the capacity and expertise to continue state surveillance and research.